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Thursday, May 1

Summer of ‘62

Summer of ‘62
Short fiction - Literary
by Rod Drake

It was the summer I turned 12. My friend Jenks, who lived across the street, had a big back yard, and he set up his pup tent so we could sleep outside for three whole months. We could stay up as long as we wanted, read comic books by flashlight, listen to baseball games on his transistor radio and agonize over baseball cards we needed to complete our team runs.

It was 1962. Americans were orbiting the earth in funny-looking space capsules and war in a far-away, unknown Asian country was beginning; the world was changing rapidly.

The house behind Jenks’ was home to Bobby Cubber, two years younger than we were, and his 16-year-old sister, Beth Ann. We never had any interest in Bobby, he was too young to hang out with us, and Beth Ann was, well, a girl, four classes ahead of us.

We realized her second-floor bedroom faced our tent, and in the darkness of the night, its lights let us see everything going on in there. At first, we could have cared less; we had interesting stuff to read, games to listen to, and constellations to try and figure out. Jenks had his brother’s telescope as part of our ramshackle collection of camp equipment.

It wasn’t until the night we noticed Beth Ann getting undressed for bed that we got interested. In a hurry. Focusing the telescope on her, we got to see our first topless girl, discounting a relative or two, who were too young and not, well, developed was the term back then. Beth Ann was obviously proud of her body and took her time putting her pajamas on, looking at herself in the mirror and messing with her hair, giving Jenks and me a good, long look at her boobs in all their round, full, flawless glory.

Well, that changed everything. Comics and baseball games were one thing, but a cute, young naked girl giving us a free show was the stuff dreams were made of. Wet dreams at least.

This went on for several nights, and we remained a rapt audience of two, scarcely breathing for fear Beth Ann would hear us somehow in her bedroom with the window closed, some 50 feet away.

Then her folks went out of town for the weekend, taking Bobby with them, leaving Beth Ann home alone. In our juvenile fantasies, we hoped she would run around the house naked all night, posing and touching herself.

But something every different occurred instead. We could see Beth Ann was talking to someone, someone we couldn’t see, someone in her bedroom with her.

She smiled at her unseen guest and took off her top and bra. She slid off her shorts and probably her underwear as well; we couldn’t see because the window limited our view to above the waist (unless she would stand on a chair, which was unlikely). But just the thought of her naked was enough to get us going and that she was going to be making out that way.

At that point her guest moved into our view. And we knew him. He was our Little League coach, Mr. Spanner. Bobby’s too. He was married and had kids as old as Beth Ann. He kissed her, hugging her tightly. It was gross. Then he cupped her boobs playfully and led her to the bed, out of our sight.

But it didn’t matter. We looked at each other ashamedly, not speaking, not interesting in watching any longer and crawled into our sleeping bags. I woke up early, and went home to sleep in my basement on the old couch.

When I returned the following evening, Jenks had re-pitched his tent facing the other direction, and the telescope was put away in its box. We never talked about what we had seen, and we never told anyone either. At summer’s end, Beth Ann was sent away to stay with her aunt in Minnesota, and her room went dark.

Rod Drake lives in Las Vegas which may explain his surreal take on things, but he grew up in Iowa so he is grounded. Check out Rod's longer stories posted in Six Sentences, Flashes of Speculation, Flash Forward, MicroHorror and AcmeShorts.

2 reactions:

Kelly Parra said...

This one had plenty of feeling in such a brief word count. Great one, Rod!

r2 said...

Great story. Very emotional. My buddy had a neighbor girl who was in high school when we were in junior high. She left her blinds open. Same scenario. I spent a lot of time "camping out" with him in his backyard. Thankfully, I don't think it had such a sad ending. The next summer, they had moved. Camping out was never the same.